The Lilly Weston Committee
The Lilly Weston Committee are volunteers from the Westlake Historical Society who are dedicated to the preservation and future use of this unique historic resource. Our members share a love of history and come from varied professions and walks of life including an historical society board members, architect, retired professor, and a high school student to name a few. We have been meeting monthly since January, 2016 and in our first year, we have accomplished a lot.
With the assistance of a Westlake High School student, Carolyn Bedell, who is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award project, we now have this website that is devoted to telling the story of the Lilly Weston House: its history, efforts for its preservation, community involvement in its future redevelopment as a museum and community resource. She also wrote three articles about the project.
Another great byproduct of her Gold Award is that the committee will continue to participate annually in the Westlake Historical Society Antique Show and the Westlake Fall Festival. These are important opportunities to get the word out about the Lilly Weston House and what can be done to save it to audiences who may otherwise not know about it. Partnering with the City, a structural engineer has been engaged for a report on improvements needed in the interior to improve the home ’ s safety so it can be opened to the public for tours. More specifically, the report will provide detailed information regarding interior repairs to the structure and will provide specifications and cost estimates that the committee will use to pursue those repairs. An interesting caveat of this work is that the structural engineer will recommend improvements that will preserve as much of the original 1840s structure as possible, so future generations may learn about the past building techniques. This study is now in process, so check back in the future for updates.
In December, the committee took a field trip to the Lakewood Historical Society ' s Oldest Stone House, built in 1834 to learn about their efforts in preserving it for a for museum. Attendees learned about efforts to save and restore the home and how it is being used today. They also took many photos of architectural details, such as woodwork, fireplace, and staircase that will be useful in understanding how our old stone house may have looked originally. Also in the works is a strategy to address the existing and future needs for this project in a phased plan that can be implemented over time as funding becomes available. This will eventually involve the Westlake citizens and stakeholders as we work towards a vision for what the Lilly Weston House may become in terms of community interest and needs. This will follow closely after the structural analysis report is completed, so check back to this website for future updates. We may have some exciting “small victory” projects to announce in the coming months too.